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Collins, Morton provide punch in Marmion boys soccer win

AURORA – Flynn Collins and Conor Morton are two formidable talents on an individual level.

Now that Marmion’s premier scoring threats are learning to play off one another, the Cadets could be in business.

That’s how Tuesday’s Suburban Christian Conference match against St. Francis unfolded as Collins and Morton tag-teamed each of the first three goals in the Cadets’ 4-0 win at Fichtel Field.

“Last year we were kind of getting used to each other because he was a freshman and I was a junior,” said Collins, of Batavia. “But this year since I have the seniority now, I’m a senior, he’s a sophomore, we kind of play off each other’s strengths. I’m fast, he’s big. It works out great.”

Marmion coach Ricky Del Toro loved what he saw from the duo Tuesday.

“That’s what we were hoping for since the beginning of the season,” Del Toro said. “Them two partnering up together are going to be very strong for us. So hopefully that continues, and once we start getting into the playoffs, they’re clicking.”

With the match scoreless late in the first half, Morton played a long feed up to Collins, whose shot was stopped by St. Francis goalkeeper Jonathan Burke. Morton, though, gathered the rebound, made a move to free a shooting lane and placed the ball just to Burke’s left, inside the post for a 1-0 Marmion lead.

The 6-foot-3 Morton, who didn’t start after spraining his right MCL during the recent Barrington Invitational, finished the night with two goals and an assist.

“I didn’t know it would be a good game,” Morton said, referencing his recent injury. “I just thought I’d be able to get on the field and get some touches. The knee brace I have is really helpful. It’s very strong.”

Morton said his favorite play of the night was a volley he played over the top to set up Collins’ breakaway for Marmion’s second goal less than three minutes into the second half.

Midway through the half, Collins beat a defender before playing a low cross through the goalmouth that Morton poked in for a 3-0 Cadets advantage.

Junior Gavin Sanchez closed the scoring for Marmion (3-3-1, 1-0 SCC) with a late penalty kick goal.

The offensive outburst was appreciated by Del Toro, but he was especially heartened by his team’s third straight shutout after conceding 11 goals in the first four matches of the season.

“We worked hard in practice,” Del Toro said. “It was a lot of deep talk, strong talk, talking with the boys. And it worked. … Now we’re starting to realize the team that we have is pretty strong, so hopefully we start clicking.”

St. Francis (1-4-2, 0-1) graduated 13 seniors from last year and is trying to find its identity, coach Kristin Keigley said. Junior Christopher Connelly and sophomore Nicholas Roehl each had solid shots on goal against Cadets goalkeeper Matt Fletcher (seven saves).

“Our results aren’t what we’re capable of simply because we’ve been continually playing around with different lineups, putting people in different positions, trying to find the right combinations,” Keigley said. “So the record that we hold right now is nowhere near representative of what we can do.

“This is more representative of what we can do where we can keep a 3A team that is a very, very good team scoreless until the last five minutes of a half.”

The match was originally scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start but was moved to 7 because of Tuesday’s intense heat.

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